Ways to Celebrate National Tequila Day in Austin!

NATIONAL TEQUILA DAY AUSTIN

There’s no denying that National Tequila Day is a holiday worth celebrating. It happens to fall this Thursday, July 24th, and in honor of this momentous occasion we’ve put together this little Austin guide to tequila.

Read below to find some great tequila-related advice from local bartenders, three local bars and restaurants that offer a wide variety of tequila, and three unique margaritas you have to try in Austin. If you’re not thirsty by the time you get to the bottom, check your pulse!

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Tequila advice from a couple of our favorite bartenders…

-Favorite Type of Tequila: My go-to’s have always been the Añejos and Extra-Añejos. I love the taste of liquors aged in different types of new oak barrels, or ones that have been used for whiskeys, bourbons, cognac and port casks. Some would say that that it takes away from the purity and most forceful expression of a blanco.

However, I say, “Good things come to those who wait.” There are some good Jovens (blend of blanco and extra anejo) that I enjoy, and—if someone else is buying—I would never turn down a glass of Casa Dragones.

-Recipe For a Perfect Margarita: Some people would consider the margarita to be a craft cocktail. There is no actual origin to the original recipe. There are a handful of stories of where the original recipe came from, but nothing is set in stone, so why argue or try to complicate the drink?

While I enjoy the IBA standard of 7:4:3 (tequila: Cointreau: lime juice), I prefer to sweeten the drink with the plant that gave birth to the product: the blue weber agave. Four parts tequila, two parts lime, one part agave, and one part water. It’s a simple and sound margarita.  It’s not over-thought or complex; it’s just a good drink.

-Best Tequila Drink at TnT: As far as the margaritas, I recommend the Orange Noir or the Spicy Cilantro. If you want a cocktail, I have to say that the Añejo Old Fashioned is my favored drink on the menu. If you are into Mezcals, Ryan Artus made a great version of the classic Blood & Sand with Del Maguey’s Crema de Mezcal.

However, if you come on in, there’s a list of drinks the bartenders know that aren’t on our main menu. Just talk to any of us, and we’d love to see what you like and give you some guidance.

-Go-To Toast: “¡Arriba, abajo, al centro, pa’dentro!” If not that, I cheers to anything that is good in life at that moment.

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-Favorite Type of Tequila: I’m a huge fan of the brand Tapatio, or sipping on El Tesoro Añejo. Both are made by master distiller, Carlos Camarena, and exemplify generations of experience in the art of making tequila.

-Recipe For a Perfect Margarita: Classic proportions are always a great place to start. I recommend starting with a 2:1:1 ratio: 2 oz. Silver tequila, 1 oz. Cointreau, 1 oz. fresh lime.

Most people adjust the sweet portion to their own liking by substituting or combining with things like simple, agave nectar or Curaçao—all of which are acceptable and keep the quest (or debate) for the perfect margarita ever present.

That being said, there are a few crucial things that will certainly make your margarita fall flat if you are not paying attention. Here are some simple tips to get the most out of your margarita:

  1. Buy good tequila.
  2. Always use fresh lime juice. No sweet and sour.
  3. Good ice. We’ve all had a watered-down margarita. It’s definitely not good, and somehow makes it feel hotter outside.
  4. Effort. A hard shake is what makes this one of the best drinks of all time. Give it at least 30 seconds to a minute. You will be glad you did.

-Best Tequila Drink at Garage: I would definitely recommend the margarita at Garage! Or, if you want something a little more potent, try the El Finito.

-Go-To Toast: Hmmmm. I’m usually pouring the drinks, which means someone else is doing the toasting. Just make it quick, will ya? Sentiment is for occasion, tequila is for drinking!

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Three Austin bars flush with tequila

Not only does Iron Cactus have over 100 tequilas on their menu (and an awesome patio downtown on which to enjoy them), but they’ve also been named one of the top tequila bars in the country—meaning there’s a definite focus on quantity and quality.

If somehow you haven’t managed to come out yet, make it a point to stop by this Thursday and try at least one new type of tequila. We can pretty much guarantee you’ll be glad you did.

Boasting a catalogue of around 40 families of tequila—which combined, account for the 140 types on offer—TnT is the indecisive imbiber’s worst nightmare, but in the best way. Ask the knowledgeable staff behind the bar what they recommend or—hey—make it a personal mission to try them all.

(Bonus: To commemorate National Tequila Day, they’ll be serving up $1.99 house margaritas, which are always an excellent option as well.)

With a sweet location right across the street from Stubb’s and around 90 tequila choices available, there’s no better place to stop for a pre-concert—or, hey, post-concert— craft cocktail than 508.

This year, they’ll be commemorating National Tequila Day with a tasting from 4-10 p.m., where representatives from 10 tequila companies will be present. And if that’s not a way to find your new favorite, we don’t know what it is.

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Three unique ‘ritas you have to try in Austin…

While this establishment offers nine interesting varieties of “fruity margaritas” to wash down their Interior Mexican cuisine—think coconut, peach, mango and more—we’re totally sold on both the unexpected aspect and the refreshing factor of the Cantaloupe, which is a cold, tasty way to wash down spicy samples from their famous salsa bar.

For an industrial-strength option, look no further than the potent Purple Margarita at Baby A’s. The stuff of legend, if you haven’t enjoyed the brain freeze and buzz resulting from this delicious drink, you’re essentially required to go to one of the five locations in town to try one out.

And for those who’ve already been there, done that, and had the hangover, word on the street is that they’ve also added a new margarita flavor to the menu in the form of Watermelon Crush, which might call for a second visit.

Tex-Mex lovers have been pairing guacamole and margaritas for years, but Curra’s took this killer combo one delicious step further in the form of their famous Avocado Margarita. A creamy, green concoction, it pairs two of our favorite things for an insanely addicting drink that, based on nutritional science, has gotta be somewhat healthy, right?

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For more ways to celebrate National Tequila Day in Austin, pick a place to enjoy a cold margarita from our extensive list of margaritas in Austin!

Contributed by: Sam Sumpter

Future Folk is Coming to the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz

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The History of Future Folk is a feature length film about two aliens who come to earth from the planet Hondo and discover a mutual, deep love of folk music. Through a serious of charmingly zany hijinks, the two Hondonian aliens find themselves in a host of hilarious situations.

Whereas the temptation might be to make this movie as silly as possible, it actually has a lot of heart. Even though the scenario is inherently ridiculous, you end up feeling a real connection with these characters.

The History of Future Folk bears all the hallmarks of a future cult classic. With critics and fans showing equal amounts of adoration (winning an award for Best Screenplay at Fantastic Fest 2012 and an Audience Award at Philadelphia Film Festival 2012), this endearingly goofy film is destined to be discovered by many people for many years to come.

Future Folk’s incredible nationwide Earth Tour comes to a glorious conclusion on Thursday, August 7th at our very own Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz. If you’ve yet to feast your eyes on the bizarre, intergalactic musical majesty that is Future Folk, you are in for a rare and special treat.

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In addition to a screening of the movie at The Ritz, the two aliens that comprise Future Folk will be performing their hits live on stage. Hear bluegrass songs about being a simple worm farmer on a distant planet, along with other equally strange subject matter. Don’t let the outfits fool you, these guys have been playing together for over ten years and know how to entertain a crowd. 

Finally, the event also boasts a self-described “awkward Q&A”. Two dudes in space suits answering questions from earthlings sounds like a good time to us. This event is free with RSVP, so be sure to go ahead and do that here. For more info on Future Folk, visit Facebook.com/FutureFolkMusic.

Four Austin Museum Exhibits To See Right Now

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This summer has been fairly kind to us, and we are very thankful for that. Still, some of us might be looking for more air-conditioned entertainment. This list of current art and cultural exhibits should help you stay cool and sound more intelligent at parties for the next few weeks, at least. Here are four exhibits to see right now:

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The 1968 Exhibit:
at the Bob Bullock State History Museum

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Through sight, sound, and touch, the 1968 Exhibit at the Bob Bullock State History Museum takes you month by month through one of the most tumultuous and pivotal years in America’s history.

1968 saw the peak of the Vietnam War (and protests against it), the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, the rise of the sexual revolution, migrant workers’ demonstrations, the unveiling of the first word processor and mouse, and the birth of Flower Power. Popular culture flourished as well; in 1968 Laugh-In made its television debut, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey was released, and The Beatles released The White Album with over a quarter of a million advance orders.

Step into 1968 with artifacts ranging from home décor and political campaign memorabilia to iconic objects like the 1968 Olympic torch, a pressure bubble helmet from the Apollo 8 mission, an actual UH-1H “Huey” helicopter used in the Vietnam War, and the iconic purple velvet jacket worn by Jimi Hendrix.

For an interactive experience, make your own album cover, play pop culture trivia, or thumb through records. The 1968 Exhibit at the Bob Bullock State History Museum runs through September 1st, and tickets range from $8 to $12.

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The World at War, 1914–1918:
at the Harry Ransom Center

The current exhibit at UT’s Harry Ransom Center looks at World War I through the eyes of those who experienced it. Dubbed early on as “the war to end war,” the global conflict ultimately lasted four years and killed 10 million servicemen.

Drawing from the Harry Ransom Center’s vast archives, The World at War dives both broad and deep, articulating the influence, struggle and sacrifice of the war country by country, and examining the roles of women, African Americans, animals, artists, dissenters, and spies in the war effort.

The multimedia exhibit is free to the public and showcases propaganda and recruitment posters, memoirs and novels, letters and diaries, and previously censored photographs of battles, evacuations, and the care of the wounded. The World at War runs through August 3rd. Admission is free. (Donations Accepted)

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When Austin Got Weird:
at the Bob Bullock State History Museum

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When Austin Got Weird“ at the Bob Bullock State History Museum takes a look at an Austin of days gone by. 29 selected posters from The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History and the Austin History Center highlight the artists and music venues that fomented Austin’s counterculture in the ’60s and ’70s. Poster art spans from 1967 – 1980.

The Ramones, The Velvet Underground, Janis Joplin, Willie Nelson, Pete Seeger, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Asleep at the Wheel, Sir Doug and the Texas Tornadoes, and more are included, plus you can find out what exactly went down at the “Love In” at Zilker Park in 1967. The museum provides access to musician interviews and song clips via smartphone and on their website.

See “When Austin Got Weird“ at the Bob Bullock State History Museum through September 14th. Tickets range from $8 to $12. Preview the exhibit at thestoryoftexas.com.

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Between Mountains and Sea - Arts of the Ancient Andes:
at the Blanton Museum of Art

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The Arts of the Ancient Andes at the Blanton Museum of Art is comprised largely of pottery, with some textiles and historical photos. Works from the University of Texas at Austin’s own collections illuminate the iconography, ritual, and craftsmanship of pre-Hispanic Andean cultures.

Prior to the Inca Empire, Paracas, Nasca, Moche, Chancay, Sican, and Chimú cultures leveraged their vital position between the western Pacific Ocean and eastern Andes mountain range. The delicate environmental balance of their geographic position and dependence on rains to feed fertile river valleys was expressed continually through art and utilitarian objects.

The Ancient Andes exhibit runs through August 17, and tickets range from $0 – $9. The Blanton is also currently displaying Modern and Contemporary Art of the Americas and In the Company of Cats and Dogs, among others.

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Check these spots for more cultural exploration in Austin:

– Laguna Gloria is free every Tuesday and open from 10am – 4pm. Its partner museum, the Jones Center, is also free every Tuesday and is open from 11am – 7pm. Both venues are part of The Contemporary Austin, and both house interesting and beautiful works of contemporary art.

– The Mexic-Arte Museum is free every Sunday from 12-5pm. The museum is dedicated to cultural enrichment and education through the presentation and promotion of traditional and contemporary Mexican, Latino and Latin American art and culture.

– The Cathedral of Junk is an artistic structure built by Vince Hannemann who began building the Catheral in 1988. The Cathedral is assembled out of junk that Vince has found or was given by fans. Since this is a private home, those who wish to see the Cathedral of Junk need to give Vince a call and see if they can swing by.

– The Women & Their Work Art Gallery is always free (though donations are appreciated) and is open from 10 am – 6 pm Monday – Friday and noon – 5 pm on Saturday. Women & Their Work serves as a catalyst for contemporary art created by women living and working in Texas and beyond.

-Contributed by Rebecca Rosenberg

Beer by the Bay Festival at the Horseshoe Bay Resort

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It’s that time of year again. The sun is out, and nights are long, which means people are heading for water and looking for ways to have summer fun. You don’t have to drive far from Austin to find what you’re looking for, as you can find your own little paradise just down the road at the Horseshoe Bay Resort.

From August 1-3, 2014, they will be hosting the second annual Beer by the Bay Music Festival, featuring Texas Country artists such as Jack Ingram, Curtis Grimes and Bri Bagwell. The live music offerings will also range from the reggae sounds of The Effinays to the soul and gospel of the Matchmaker Band and The Stapletones.

Along with great bands, the music festival will feature offerings from award-winning Texas microbreweries including Real Ale Brewery, South Austin Brewing Company, Twisted X and DoubleHorn Brewery. In addition, the resort’s culinary team is featuring an all-you-can-eat menu that is included with each paid admission.

“We wanted to make this festival a great value,” says Bryan Woodward of the Horseshoe Bay Resort. “Each night you’ll get to hear four to five great bands and enjoy food and drink and know that your parking is already paid. Once you get here, all you have to do is enjoy the music, enjoy great culinary offerings and have fun.” 

If you’ve never been to the Horseshoe Bay Resort, it is located in the picturesque Texas Hill Country on Lake LBJ, a short 45-minute trip from Austin. The resort offers golf, a full-service marina, tennis courts, bike rentals, hiking trails and much more.

It’s a great destination for a mini vacation, and with three days of live music, great food and a vast selection of craft beers, Beer by the Bay Music Festival makes it a trip well worth taking. You can book hotel packages for the festival that include a 2-nights stay at the resort, two passes to the festival (which include all-you-can-eat food and non-alcoholic drinks), commemorative shirts, beer glasses and more.

Regular day passes are also available now. For more info on the 2014 Beer by the Bay Music Festival, be sure to visit their site where you will find the full music lineup, hotel accommodations and everything else you need to know!

Make Plans to Attend UTOPiAfest 2014 – Sept 12-14

If you have never experienced UTOPiAfest, let us get you up to speed. It takes place over three days on the beautiful Four Sisters Ranch, in a little town called Utopia, Texas. Set in the rolling hills of West Texas, this is camping country. The lush surroundings, located just 15 miles east of Garner State Park, are filled with the natural beauty of creeks, trees, and green valleys.

In short, the area got its name for a good reason. Three days per year, when UTOPiAfest rolls into town, the area is also filled with lights, live music, and about 2,000 happy campers. Literally, the music festival is capped at 2000 tickets, ensuring an intimate experience. For just a few precious days, music lovers can find their very own utopia.

Now in its 6th year, UTOPiAfest will offer more highlights than ever. A new light and laser show, more food options, disc golf, yoga, and an eclectic lineup that includes the Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA backed by Austin’s own Brownout, former Fleet Foxes drummer Father John Misty, Cold War Kids, and Warpaint. 

There’s also Dan Deacon, Ghostland Observatory front man Aaron Behrens and his new project the Midnight Stroll, Keller Williams, and a slew of great Austin talent such as Wild Child, Cilantro Boombox, Holiday Mountain and Wheeler Brothers.

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UTOPiAFest is BYOB, so you can pack a cooler, round up a few friends and make a road trip of it. Right now you can even pool your money and get tickets Buy-3-Get-1-FREE. The sale ends this Thursday, July 24, so take advantage. There’s also new hassle-free tent rentals, equipped with a pre-setup tent, cots or air mattresses, chairs, cooler, and even a lantern.

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Now that you get the idea, we’ll clue you in on a few of the bands that will be performing. We’ll start with Father John Misty. Once upon a time, Josh Tillman was the drummer for Fleet Foxes, now he’s out on his own. His 2012 album Fear Fun was met with overwhelming positive response by critics and the public.

Dan Deacon is a purveyor of wacky, catchy, glitchy synth pop. He writes songs about trippy green skulls, snake mistakes, and other weird things. He’s also incredibly talented and puts on a hell of a live show. Dan Deacons ability to make insanely ear-grabbing melodies out very creative samples is his specialty.

Warpaint are a Los Angeles girl group who totally rule. Their 2010 single “Elephants” was one of the best songs to come out that year and now they’ve got another full length album out. One of Warpaints greatest strengths is their ability to straddle the line between being gentle and completely rocking out.

Those are but three of the many amazing bands performing at UTOPiAfest 2014. For more information and a chance to win a pair of tickets, visit our page on Do512.

5 Questions With Latasha Lee

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Growing up under the influences of Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Sam Cooke, Gladys Knight, Etta James and Otis Redding, Latasha Lee’s sound takes some of the essence of these artists and adds in her soulful voice to bring a refreshing take on Soul/R&B music.

In 2013, Lee released a self-titled debut album with her band the BlackTies, featuring production from Salih Williams (Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Big Moe). The soulful, Texas-bred songstress performed at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in 2013, while also taking her brand of vintage soul on the road throughout the country.

“Texas is having its time now,” says Williams. “There’s so much untapped talent here waiting to be developed simply because unlike New York and Los Angeles, we haven’t enjoyed the luxury of having the majors in our back yard.”

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We caught up with Latasha Lee after her recent performance in Austin for Red Bull Sound Select to ask a few questions about our favorite topics: Music, Austin, and Texas.

Do512: Who/what motivated you to start singing and making music?

Lee: Artists like Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Whitney Houston, Sam Cooke and Gladys Knight inspired me to become a singer. I’ve always written poems as a child and tried to mimic singers that I admired.

Do512: Do you think that living in Austin, or Texas in general, has influenced your music/style?

Lee: There are so many artists from Texas that have influenced my style. Lightning Hopkins, Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gary Clark Jr, Destiny Child and many more. Texas has long been a place for musical innovation, and I’m grateful to them for laying down the blueprint that allows artists like myself to do what we love.

Do512: If you had to describe your music in one sentence, what would you say?

Lee: My music stimulates your mind, strums the strings of your heart, and makes your soul glow.

Do512: What do you like about the live music scene in Austin?

Lee: I love the variety of bands and how the majority of musicians support each other. There are so many great venues to showcase your talent to gain exposure. I love Austin!

Do512: Who are some of your favorite local musicians/people?

Lee: I’m really diggin groups like The Suffers, Gary Clark Jr, Riders Against The Storm and many more I’ve heard. I have a bunch of favorite people who have been a huge help in my career. Matt Sonzala, Mandy Reyes, RedBull Sound Select, KUTX 98.9, producer and guitarist Salih Williams, keyboardist Tomar Williams, bassist Andres Acevedo, drummer Brian Dunn, guitarist Gregory Moreno, tenor sax Ryan Allen, alto sax Nikolas Bouklas and Baritone sax Aldo Ramon. Special thanks to my fans, family and friends.

Find more Latasha Lee at Red Bull Sound Select and on Facebook.

Looking at the Daily Lineups for ACL Fest 2014

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As you’ve no doubt heard, single day passes for Austin City Limits are available now. For those of you unable to attend all three days of the massive festival, single day tickets are just what the doctor ordered.

While the lineups for both weekends are very similar, they are not identical. If you plan on singing along to Lorde’s “Royals”, you’ll want to attend the festival on Sunday, October 12th. She won’t be there for weekend one. Other, more subtle differences include differing schedules for bands that will be playing both weekends.

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Due to an awesomely jam-packed lineup, it’s tough to pick just one day to attend the festival. But if you’re thinking about single day passes, here’s a few of the individual day acts we’re psyched about.

Weekend 1’s Friday Lineup includes Outkast, Beck, Foster The People, Belle & Sebastian, Childish Gambino, CHVRCHES, St. Vincent and more.

Hailing from Glasgow, Scotland and fronted by singer Stuart Murdoch, Belle & Sebastian write some of the most consistently ear-grabbing songs in recent memory. They’ve been at it since 1996, releasing critically acclaimed albums like Tigermilk, If You’re Feeling Sinister, The Boy with the Arab Strap, and The Life Pursuit. They’re at work on their first new album since 2011′s Write About Love, so new songs are a distinct possibility in their set. 

Outkast need no introduction. They have written some of the most beloved, genre-bending and wholly creative Hip Hop songs of all time, and have returned to the stage after a long hiatus that had fans feeling nervous about a possible dissolution. Get hyped.

Multi-instrumentalist Annie Clarke grew up in Dallas, and kicked around with The Polyphonic Spree before going out on her own and performing as St. Vincent. In addition to being a seriously gifted electric guitar player, she’s gone on to release three incredible studio albums, perform on Saturday Night Live, and collaborate with the likes of David Byrne. Seeing her perform live is an unforgettable experience.

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Saturday, Weekend 1’s Lineup includes Eminem, Skrillex, Lana Del Rey, Major Lazer, The Avett Brothers, The Head and the Heart, Interpol, Mac Demarco and Broken Bells.

Montreal-based singer-songwriter Mac Demarco has shot to widespread popularity in recent years, and for good reason. His music has been described as both goofy and earnest, straddling the line between his naturally funny impulses and serious desire to write good songs. A Mac Demarco show typically includes some of his trade-mark banter, crowd surfing, and of course, Rock and Roll. 

DJ, producer, and songwriter Diplo is one of the busiest dudes in the music industry. Despite having his hand in quite a few a musical pies, he found time to create two full-length albums with Major Lazer. The first albums single, Pon De Floor proved to be a smash hit. With its mangled, wildly catchy electronic beat and distorted vocals, it’s proven to be a staple in any club where people are dancing.

What can you say about Eminem that hasn’t been said a thousand times already? His legacy as one of the best rappers of all time is sealed. He’s incendiary, funny, controversial, and talented. Sometimes in equal measure, and sometimes within the span of a single song. His wordplay is as deft as it is clever. The world permanently has the chorus to “My Name Is” stuck in its collective ears, and that’s not a bad thing.

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Sunday’s lineup includes performances by Pearl Jam, Calvin Harris, The Replacements, Zedd, Spoon, Chromeo, Phantogram, Fitz & The Tantrums and more!

It’s not Pearl Jam’s first time at Austin City Limits, and we hope it won’t be their last. Eddie Vedder has one of the most powerful voices in rock and roll, and his band have been a staple since they burst into the Seattle Grunge scene in 1990. Songs like “Even Flow” have cemented their status as one of Rock and Roll’s most essential bands. 

Austin natives Spoon are the very definition of the word consistent. Over the course of seven studio albums The guys have an inimitable knack for writing extremely pleasing rock songs. Combine this with their careful attention to production detail and you have a band worthy of the lone star state. Their new album,  They Want My Soul is due to drop this August.

In 2012, The Replacements announced their reunion and a lot of people went justifiably out of their minds with excitement. See, The Replacements hold a very special place in people’s hearts as one of the best, most influential bands of the 1980′s. Their third album, Let It Be, is a post-punk classic, filled with idiosyncratic lyrics and jangly  guitar riffs. Loyal acolytes of The Replacements now have the chance to see them perform their quintessential material live and in person.

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Those are a few of our suggestions for why you might pick one day, or weekend over another. Because this years lineup is so flushed with great music, we recommend carefully perusing the full schedule to determine which day is right for you.

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Check out the Thunderbird Café & Tap Room

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We are no strangers to the awesomeness that is Thunderbird Coffee. Whether hanging on the patio or chilling inside, you can always count on Thunderbird to provide the perfect backdrop for sipping on a tasty Honey-nut Latte or locally made kombucha.

They’ve now decided to take things up a notch at the Koenig location, which has been redesigned into a fully fledged tap room that boasts one of the largest beer selections in North Austin. The Thunderbird Café & Tap Room offers a rotating selection of 34 beers on tap, including favorites such as Live Oak Big Bark, Real Ale Hans Pils, and Austin Beer Works Pearl Snap.

They will also be rotating hard-to-find craft brews, using a state-of-the-art filling process that maintains flavor and carbonation levels for longer than a standard fill.

“We’re willing and equipped to source hard-to-find beers, in particular from Europe,” explained Thunderbird Café & Tap Room owner, Ryan McElroy. “We have five different couplers allowing us to tap virtually any keg and two nitro taps to serve nitrogenized beers.”

Though the drink menu has expanded and the interior is redesigned, Thunderbird Café & Tap Room will still be offering old favorites like breakfast tacos from TacoDeli, fresh pastries from Quack’s Bakery and Rockstar Bagels, among other staples. So come on by and check out the new and improved neighborhood favorite at 1401 W Koenig Ln. For more info visit thunderbirdaustin.com.

Do512 Restaurant Of The Week: Phil’s Icehouse

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It was 2003 and Amy and Steve Simmons were looking for a permanent home for Austin’s famous Amy’s Ice Creams production facility. Upon settling on the old Humble gas station in the Allendale neighborhood, the couple scouted out some of their favorite local businesses to share the location with in staying with their strong belief that the most important qualities in a location are the community and the synergy of businesses nearby. Pairing their love for quality Texas hamburgers and their late Amy’s partner Phil Clay, Amy and Steve opened Phil’s Icehouse in memory of their dear friend to provide Austin with a fantastic variety of hamburgers, local brews and a wealth of good times. Dubbed the happiest burger joint in Texas, you won’t find fancy salads or appetizers here! Just good ol’ fashioned burgers!

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“The road goes on forever, the party never ends”. Written by Robert Earl, this line has become the slogan for Phil’s providing a sense of community and happiness. That’s what the restaurant is all about and you can see that in their expansive menu of savory burgers! Each one is named after a different Austin neighborhood. From the 78704 to the Rosedale, the Violet Crown to the Brentwood; with a wealth of options including cucumbers, jalapenos, fresh avocado, bleu cheese, sautéed mushrooms, ham, bacon, chipotle mayo and mesquite BBQ sauce, each burger has its own unique character.

                                                                                       

Before catching the Austin Aces game at Cedar Park Center last week, we paid a visit to Phil’s and were treated to some of their all star burgers.

We started off with the classic 78704, Phil’s crowd favorite. Topped with Monterey Jack cheese, jalapenos, grilled onions, sliced avocado and chipotle mayo on a toasted jalapeno cheese bun, this ‘south of the river’ burger is packed full of flavor and explodes with taste in each bite. The marriage of avocado with jalapeno is utterly delicious.

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Next, we noshed on the spicy yet savory Violet Crown. A bleu cheese burger topped with grilled onions atop that wonderful jalapeno cheese bun, patrons can kick it up a notch and add Frank’s Hot Sauce. We didn’t hesitate to go for that add-on! Who would?

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As burger fans, we like to keep things simple (K.I.S.S. method, right?), but for those wanting some variety in their lives, Phil’s offers a “build your own burger” option. With a choice of veggie, turkey, beef or chicken and a variety of awesome fixins, you can make that burger you’ve always dreamt of.  Gluten-free and whole wheat buns are also available.

Can’t decide on how to create the best original burger? Then you may want to consider the Mini Burger Sampler Basket. A mini Crestview, Rosedale and Violet Crown; the sampler basket packs all of Phil’s magic into one.

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And what burger is complete without a pile of freshly made French Fries? All of Phil’s burgers are served with a mix of traditional French Fries and Sweet Potato Fries for that extra flavor kick.

                                                                                            

Aside from an all-star menu, Phil’s has some great things happening this season. Dubbed Parent’s Recess, stop on by and grab a local draught or glass of wine for ½ off from 3-5:30PM. Phil’s is stocked with some of Austin’s best local brews including Real Ale, 512, Austin Beer Works, and Twisted X. For those who prefer the non-alcoholic side of things, Phil’s also now offers MoonShine Sweet Tea brewed right here in Austin with all natural cane sugar.

As we all know, traffic in Austin can be anything but exciting. Good news! Phil’s Icehouse now offers online ordering. May as well wait in line while you wait in traffic. So avoid that extra headache and chow down sooner than later.

If you haven’t tried Phil’s before, make sure to visit Do512 for your chance to win a $25 gift card and pay a visit to the happiest burger joint in Texas! With locations on S. Lamar, Burnet and North 183, there’s sure to be a Phil’s near you. Your neighborhood burger awaits!

http://www.philsicehouse.com/

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Hotter than Hell Burlesque at the Paramount 7/26

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Ruby Joule Burlesque and Diamond Burlesque Productions are celebrating a full year of presenting their grand scale burlesque productions in Austin with the return of Hotter Than Hell Burlesque!

The show, held Stateside at the Paramount on Saturday, July 26, stars 5-time Playboy Pinup and Burlesque Hall of Fame “Reigning Queen of Burlesque” 2009 title-holder Kalani Kokonuts of Las Vegas.

Also featured as Emcee is another Las Vegas stage veteran (Mamma Mia!) and favorite at the Texas Burlesque Festival, Cora Vette; called “larger than life, with a big sassy voice and ribald sense of humor,” by Denver Westword.

Joining her will be the award-winning Texas talent Ruby Joule, La Divina, Jolie Goodnight, Goldie Candela, Bethany Summersizzle and more!

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Kalani Kokonuts, via austintheatre.org

The love affair with pin-up girls began over a century ago, these stage productions are still one of the hottest tickets around. Grab your ticket for Hotter Than Hell Burlesque on Do512, and be ready for a sizzling night with these burlesque babes on Saturday, July 26 Stateside at the Paramount!